why do we always need a trainer? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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why do we always need a trainer?

I have dad puppies all of my life and they turned out just fine without any training.When I was little,we had dogs and my parents never seeked out a trainer.I am just wondering why most of responses always say,get them in training.
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 08:15 AM
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DK your age but I would guess when you were young your parents' dogs lived outside (so did not need house manners) and did not go to town socially (so did not need new dog new human manners) and did not compete in any venues (so did not need to learn proper competition skills). Life changes- humans are also much busier than they were 40 years ago. And pay far more attention to their dogs.

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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 09:01 AM
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Usually by the time someone gets here looking for help, we have to assume that they've exhausted their own talents and resources for dealing with whatever issue they are facing with their dog. Most of the time the issue has been created by the owner not giving the dog proper structure and boundaries. If someone with experience and some training can help you achieve positive changes more quickly, it just makes sense to seek them out.

You say that you and your parents have had 'dogs and puppies' all your life that turned out just fine with no training and little effort. Think about what breeds those dogs were or what mixes of breeds. There is typically a big difference in 'problem' behaviors of dogs depending on what their original working behaviors are. Big sporting dogs have bigger issues than smaller herding breeds or terrier mixes etc. Smaller dogs don't cause the same amount of destruction, don't chew as long and mouth as much as puppies. It's just different with a Golden and typically they are smarter, more people pleasing and can be redirected with more exercise and smarter management. We try to share what has worked for us.

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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 09:03 AM
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I agree with Prism. Most people think that after they teach sit, down, drop it and stay and come that it's over, their dog is "trained". Heck they tend to think that when their dogs stay and don't eat their food until told to do so it's a full blown stay and don't know why when in public it doesn't stay.

That is just a dog that has learned commands but isn't trained yet. Training consists of socialization and correction in public settings so it understands what is acceptable behavior and what is not. It takes a long time to work with the dog in areas where there are distractions to really get a dog to listen in areas with distractions you must be insanely repetitive and it can take months, like 12-18 months to get your dog properly trained.

Do most people don't have the time, energy and even know how to train a dog properly? Like finding good safe place for distraction training. Or the time to take an hour or 2 a night after work. So finding a class will do 2 things,

1 is going structured classes 2 times a week is an auto blocking it off the time each week.
2 it gives people that aren't sure what and how to train something to focus on the next few days before the next class.

I think most people don't realize until they take a class is the class isn't for teaching the puppy. It's for teaching the human. They show in a training session how to train and get your dogs attention to do the training, you go home and do just that training till the next class. Then in that class it's about doing what was taught at home in a distracted area with other people and puppies. This shows the progress then they show you the next thing to train at work with and so on and so on.

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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by stumped View Post
I have had puppies all of my life and they turned out just fine without any training.When I was little, we had dogs and my parents never sought out a trainer. I am just wondering why most of responses always say, get them in training.
There's generally different people out there who never show up in classes.

You have the kind who beat their dogs with brooms and newspaper.... <= And have well trained dogs in the end. But hey, they are abusive...

You have the kind who keeps the dogs outside or caged inside and have very little interaction with the dogs. What an impoverished existence for the dogs.

You have the kind who keeps flipping dogs. They bring puppies home and as soon as the dogs show some sign of behavior that the people can't live with - either peeing all over the place or biting or attacking.... they dump the dogs in shelters and start all over again with a new puppy. There's a term for those people. It's got an A and an H.

You then have the kind who do not train the dogs but are good enough owners that they bring them out and about on occasion.... and might not know it, but people gripe behind their backs about how AWFUL their dogs are. And these AWFUL dogs lead to other people's dogs being PUNISHED by parks or businesses banning dogs.

Beyond that - a lot of young people have no clue what goes on outside their childhood bedrooms. They generally don't know what their parents did for raising and training family dogs. They assume a lot of stuff is just easy. They didn't see the tiny little things their parents did which made dog ownership easy. This includes natural handling. Some people are very good handling dogs and naturally know how to communicate with dogs. Other people don't see that. Leave it to other people, when things don't work they either quit or they get emotional or reactive.

This is a reason why even if you grew up with dogs, you still need to go to obedience classes and learn how to handle dogs kindly but practically as well.

I have to add that having taken basic obedience classes before - you do see people come to the classes with a "this a joke" attitude. And they either continue like that and waste the money they spent on these classes... or they get serious about learning how to "talk dog" when they see that holding and pulling a leash isn't enough to not only control a dog, but to also engage that dog's attention and focus - all with soft hands and kindness.

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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:26 AM
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Totally agree with all of the above. Just one generation ago... kids weren't tied to their phones. There was no internet. There was maybe 4 channels not 150+ on TV, shoot it used to go off air at midnight. It was a big date to go downtown to the movies vs a red box on the corner. You didn't schedule time to go to the lake or a walk in the woods that was just a part of life. If you were lucky you scheduled a yearly vacay with the family. Kids live at the malls, have endless entertainment available and a whole world of online friends without ever coming out of their rooms. Like Prism said, life was different.

In general, kids want the lifestyle of their parents but have no clue of the years of work that went into achieving it. Same with the dogs... they want the well behaved, enjoyable dogs to show off but have no idea how much work those owners went through to have them. So many people are so focused on getting the dogs they don't bother to learn what the dog is going to need once they get them. Dogs are work, especially hunting dogs and 1st time dog owners have no clue what that new golden puppy is going to be like much of the time. Shoot, even hospitals now give classes to new parents... that's training too.

So when people post their struggles, most of the time it's because they have never had a dog before. They sort of expect the new puppy come pre-programed to understand how to behave, how to potty outside, not to bite the kids or tear up their shoes & sleep late in the mornings. LOL It's sort of like your first kid... reality sets in quickly.

Back in the day you had multi generations living together and you learned from the wisdom of the family. Without this knowledge you need to take classes and hopefully have your kids be a part of the process so future generations can pass on the wisdom.
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 12:01 PM
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My family's first golden retriever was pawned off on my family from a neighbor cause at 6 months old the dog was no longer "awww a cute puppy" and was now in "ugh this dog is the worse and why won't it stop chewing and peeing on everything and I hate it."

My dad took the dog in assuming it would require ZERO training to be a hunting dog... cause that is how his family got hunting dogs. They got puppies and took them out with the older hunting dogs and the dog just LEARNED. Idk if he assumed it was a magic process where the older dog sits the puppy down a la "the fox and the hound" style but that didn't work. The dog was too unruly and untrained to be loose in the field so it fell on my mom to "take care of it" which meant the dog lived in the backyard with a dog house and as little interaction as possible. He didn't know how to walk on a leash and in fact, he dragged me down the road over a block when I was about 7 years old, because he wanted to say hi to someone. I can guarantee he was the bane of the neighborhood and it was constant struggle with me cause I would sneak him into my bedroom at night and snuggle with him in my bed... much to my mother's horror. But you couldn't DO anything with him. He didn't understand polite leash walking so walking around the neighborhood was out. He didn't tolerate car rides, so going out with him somewhere wasn't happening. He was deathly afraid of water and hoses so he always smelled bad. His entire 7 years revolved around a 10x50 foot backyard.

When I got my first dog as an adult, a lot had changed in the 20ish years between Sunny and Bear. Whereas my mother was a SAHM, I am in a duel income household, so time available to enjoy my dog was severely limited. Whereas banishing dogs to the backyard was commonplace, it is frowned down upon in general and 98% of rescues will not adopt dogs out to people who plan to leave them as outside dogs; so indoor house manners are very important. And now its much more commonplace to bring dogs out in public for what-have-you (dinners, play dates, dog parks, etc) because with so little free time, people combine things they love to get the biggest bang for their buck. Plus humans are packed more tightly together in most places, so respectful and kind neighborly behavior is important, including appropriate dog behaviors. Therefore, dogs now-a-days NEED to be well behaved which translates to well trained.

Most people are not good natural trainers. Obedience classes are about training the handler as much if not more so then about training the dog. Dog won't stop barking? The knee jerk reaction is to punish the dog when it barks. But go to training and most trainers will talk about rewarding the dog for being quiet, to create incentive to be quiet. And teaching the dog to redirect that behavior to curb it. Got a dog that won't stop pulling? Legit 75% of the posts I see in other forums talk about how people literally just stop taking their dogs out because it's not fun, it's too hard, it's too much work, etc, to constantly manage a dog. So most people extol the virtues of preemptive training so instead of FIXING problems, you are starting the dog off right. Bear was a puller. I struggled with it for EVER. When I got Lana, I immediately taught her heeling because I didn't want to repeat my struggles with Bear. AND IT WORKED. Now I have a 16 month old who I can take out ANYWHERE and I know I won't get my arm pulled out its socket, and it will be pleasant experience for us both.

Bottom line, we want to see people enjoy their dogs. We want to see dogs stay with their original owners. We want to see responsible pet ownership. We want to see lifetime commitment to our animals. So when people come here at their wits end over behavioral problems, it makes sense that the first line to tug is "what kind of training have you taken/are taking?"

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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 12:08 PM
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I'd like to add this:

It's more than "having a trainer" in my opinion. They learn how to interact with other dogs and people in a controlled environment. In puppy kindergarten, the puppies are often learning more about social skills than obedience.

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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 12:41 PM
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I was in the “I don’t need to go to a class” boat since I did not with my other dog and he is awesome!! He truly is but he’s also a 10 lb Brussels Griffon &#x1f602; Fletch and I start Puppy Class next week—he knows commands and is a very calm, sweet pup but I do think a class will give us both some extra challenges and learning something new/new environment should be very positive.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 02:57 PM
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Until you own and train a truly talented and exceptional dog you have no real appreciation for how smart they are and what a valuable addition they will be to your family.

I love dogs, but my sister owns a dog that drives me crazy. She brings it to our family dinners because she owns a vacation home and my parents house is the midway point between her home and her vacation home. It barks for attention. We have to be careful when opening doors not to let it out because it won't come back when called. It will not sit quietly the entire evening. You can't pet it or calm it down because it is so anxious. I'm honestly not sure exactly what it is. It's cute, but not that cute. She always says it doesn't act like that at home. She never saw anything wrong with it until my Dad's 80th B'day last month. My son is as annoyed by the dog as I am. He's pretty good with training hunting dogs. He had a six month old lab that was preparing to go to our field trainer. This puppy is his jump from hunt training to field. He decided to take it to the family dinner as well. He brought in his puppy and it quietly sat either beside him, or on the rug by the door unless someone called it to them. It knows all the basics, plus a lot of off leash work has been done. My sister was amazed at how a puppy could behave. She looked at her husband and said "we should have bought a lab". My son laughed and explained the hours of training and that Ellie would be leaving in the next few weeks for the rest of her training. Ellie is from a long line champion field labs. Ellie is so high strung that she doesn't run, she leaps like a deer when she first takes off. She is by no means calm, but she is trained. My sister is now working with her dog. I don't really have big hopes, but she did finally see the difference.

For people that really train their dogs, and have expectations of other people to do the same, it is very annoying when we leave our dogs home and are annoyed by others dogs behavior. We try to hide it, but it's still annoying.
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